a fragile PSG ensures the spectacle by beating Bordeaux (4-3)

Tour of honor and special trophy for Edinson Cavani, author of his 200th goal with PSG Sunday, February 23, at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Tour of honor and special trophy for Edinson Cavani, author of his 200th goal with PSG Sunday, February 23, at the Parc des Princes in Paris. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

If Paris SG needed to reassure themselves after their failed performance in the Champions League on Tuesday in Dortmund, that's not exactly how it should be done. But in the absence of mastery, there was a show this Sunday, February 23 against Bordeaux to close the 26e day of Ligue 1. At the end of a very uneven performance, the Parisians finally won on the whimsical score of 4 goals to 3.

The soap opera has not finished experiencing its twists and turns between now and the long-awaited round of last 16 of the Champions League, on March 11 at the Parc des Princes: with its typical team, or almost, Paris has indeed proposed both blunders, frustrations and strokes of genius as a reaction of pride after his defeat in Germany (2-1).

It's true, Edinson Cavani has found some colors, reaching in front of his biggest supporters the legendary bar of 200 goals in the Paris jersey (25e), touching the post and offering a assist to Kylian Mbappé (69e). Yes, Angel Di Maria continued to panic over the assists with two new offerings to total 14 this season. And yes again, Marquinhos scored twice (45e+2.63e).

But PSG were far from imperial despite their thirteen points lead over Marseille at the top of the Ligue 1 standings. They conceded three goals. His star Neymar lost his temper and was kicked out late in the game. And he lost captain Thiago Silva to injury, which some fans may not regret given the Brazilian's latest performances. A performance, therefore, far from being reassuring, as evidenced by the cacophony of the end of the match, having resulted in the exclusion of Neymar for a gross foul.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Champions League: in Dortmund, no nostalgia for the Tuchel era

Rico Guardian Dumpling

This kind of streak will not fully restore confidence to coach Thomas Tuchel, who was also heavily whistled by some of the supporters when the team was announced, possibly due to his choices in Germany. At home, Tuchel has not renewed the astonishing system with three central defenders aligned in Dortmund, returning to a scheme with four attacking players and choosing in particular to preserve his goalkeeper Keylor Navas, substitute.

And as he was probably missing more than that in Parisian week, his Sergio Rico lining, flawless so far this season, has chosen his moment to sign his first blunders in this jersey, like this release which directly rebounded on Pablo, offering Bordeaux a second goal (45e+6) synonymous with equalization just before half-time.

Another significant change in the workforce is the positioning of German Thilo Kehrer to the right of the defense, a position he can fill during the eighth Champions League comeback in the absence of Thomas Meunier, suspended. This balance sheet is a little more flattering: the defender did not create so many differences offensively, but he at least correctly held his lane.

Read also Ligue 1: end of series for the Olympique de Marseille, Lille rushes into the breach

Cavani, winning return

In this context, the highlight of the evening was the 200e goal by Edinson Cavani in the Paris jersey. The top scorer in the history of the club who is gradually finding playing time after having been announced for a long time on the start this winter and having spent the first part of the season on the bench or injured, benefited from his first tenure at the Park in the league since August to shine.

With a furious head on a center of Angel Di Maria, the "Matador" came to equalize at the 25e minute, just after the opening of the Bordeaux score. To the delight of the Parc des Princes, in fusion with its idol. The Uruguayan now sits far ahead of his former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic (156 goals) and is not far from having 100 more achievements than the third in the standings, another Parisian idol, Pauleta (109).

This milestone is crossed by Cavani at the best time: at 33, the Uruguayan is indeed beginning to overturn the hierarchy on his side, at the expense of Mauro Icardi, who arrived in Paris at the end of the summer transfer window. Even if he had no playing time Tuesday in Dortmund, he has just made two consecutive tenure in the league, when he is out of contract in June.

Read also Ligue 1: Nîmes cracks late in the game in Rennes, Saint-Etienne scuttles against Reims

Beside this historic moment, PSG must look at the results of the match with a certain lucidity: a lot of nervousness and frustration, testify to the five yellow cards received by the Parisians; a lot of fright, as on this head of Pablo and this strike of Yacine Adli magnificently diverted by Rico (57e, 76e); and a public rather turned against its players, as shown by these banners inviting the stars of the workforce to "Wear their c …" and to show off "Worthy" of the jersey on March 11. Paris will have three matches between the return of C1 to regain confidence and dignity. This will necessarily require more authority in his domestic meetings.

Read also Nasser Al-Khelaïfi indicted: behind dropping charges of "corruption", "friendly agreement" with FIFA


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here